Population: 81. 000
Surface: 9. 008 km.2
It distances of Montevideo: 278 km
The department of Soriano, located in the Southwest of the country, possesses a very peculiar natural attraction increased by three fluvial currents: the River Uruguay, the Black River (Río Negro) and the San Salvador. It was created by resolution of General José Artigas in 1816 and the grounds that it occupies were discovered by the Expedition of Magallanes in 1520.
Between the historical facts registered in the department they emphasize Asencio’s Scream, the landing of the Thirty three Oriental ones in the beach of Adorned in 1825 and the hug of Monsoon between Lavalleja and Rivera. For this motive, the Shield and the Flag show the inscription: `Here the Homeland was born´.
The first records of activities in this place date practically from the arrival of the first Spanish to the River Plate (Río de la Plata). Already in January, 1520 the expedition of Magallanes touches the coasts of what is today the department of Soriano and years later it is Sebastián Gaboto who founds the small fort of San Salvador on the banks of the river of the same name. His cardinal city Favors begins the process fundacional in 1788, on initiative of the priest Manuel Antonio of Castro and Careaga. The name of Soriano owes to itself a city of the south of Italy.
It is to few Mercedes’s kilometers that on February 28, 1811 Asencio’s Scream happens, giving him beginning to the cycle of the Oriental Revolution. With the first territorial division of the Oriental Band of that time, the department of Soriano is already created. The activity agricultural is the essential part of the economy of this department.
The department of Soriano is provided with three rivers of singular beauty, two of which border on it, the Uruguay and the Black, and other that crosses it, the San Salvador. Here in the resplendent beauty of these rivers, there are the principal and almost only possibilities of developing a special and increasing tourism.
The Black river (Río Negro) offers an about thirty of islands of green emerald, flat of golden and thin sand, overcoats and moorings for crafts, shady and polychrome mounts, fishing and abundant fighter, a spectacular stage for the navigation, and thousand dazzling panoramas where virgins support the fauna and the flora.
The Black river (Río Negro), like the San Salvador and the Uruguay, it is provided with magnificent places for camps, of easy access for ground and for water. The fishing is changed and abundantly in his rivers and creeks. Gilded, Bagre rows, tararira, pejerrey, surubí, mojarras, they are between others the most well-known and more quoted species.
The hunting is also generous. On the muddy coasts of the rivers and some creeks the deer and the wild boars have multiplied, exotic species that, escaped from his captivity in the Park Anchorena, Cologne they have proliferated in natural life.
The history and the rivers mark the tourist attractions of this department. The Chapel of Santo Domingo, in the Town Soriano, which dates of 1624 is the most ancient of the country. The castle of the Viscount of Mauá was constructed for the year 1857 to few km from Mercedes’s city, today we find in this beautiful construction the museum Paleontológico. And it was on the beach Agraciada, with the landing of the 33, the Beach where the struggle begins for the independence of the country. Today the rivers Uruguay and Black offer beautiful places to enjoy pleasant days. Others: Walk of the Islands: de Lobos, Del Naranjo of the Infante, Dos Hermanas; Lago Represa Palmar, Beach and Pyramid Agraciada, Castle of the Baron of Maua, Church of Villa Soriano.
In Mercedes, the departmental capital founded by the Father Manuel de Castro and Careaga in 1788 with the name of New Chapel, emphasizes the cathedral of Our Lady of the Favors with wooden altar re-dressed in gold and the Castle Mauá, where Alejandro Berro preserves a reservation paleontológica of big value in the museum. In Favors the first Headquaters of Artigas settled, in the Ex-school Our Lady of the Orchard, opposite to the Square Independence, at present UTU.
Another attraction of the only characteristics in Uruguay is the Rambla Costanera de Mercedes, constituída for two wide avenues parallel to the Black River (Río Negro), limit with the department of Río Negro.
`Isla del Puerto´ place of walks, fishing, camping, and good moments surrounded with a special scenery framed in all his directions by the Black River (Río Negro), and joined Mercedes’s city for a picturesque Bridge.
The whole department possesses very good beaches, both on the Black River and on the Uruguay. It preserves zones with a big emotive historical load as the Beach La Agraciada, where in 1825 they disembarked the Thirty three Oriental ones, the Ville of Santo Domingo, one of the most ancient of Uruguay
In Dolores, the peninsula Timoteo Ramospé, the beaches of La Agraciada and La Concordia. The dam of Palmar, in the Black River (Río Negro), ideal for the fishing of the gilding, and the museum historical-nativista `La Lata Vieja´, in Cardona, they constitute some of the principal tourist attractions of the department.